Finding the best online casino sites is quite a chore thanks to the preponderance of brands all making big promises in the hope of earning your business. What makes it most difficult for would-be players is sorting through the noise to figure out which sites actually do deserve the title of “the best.” My purpose here at OnlineCasinoSites.com is to help you do exactly that.
My guarantee to our readers is this: I’ll always give you the truth of the matter when discussing casino sites. OnlineCasinoSites.com is not in the business of sending unsuspecting players to less-than-quality casinos for the sake of earning a quick buck. If something doesn’t look right, I’ll let you know. If a bonus has too many terms and conditions or I’m reading that players are waiting too long for withdrawals, I’ll pass that information along to you.
Ultimately, my goal is to help you make an informed decision every time. There’s no need to play at anything but the best gambling sites when there are so many reputable options out there. Once you understand how the industry works and develop a nose for sniffing out false promises, the process of finding a place to play becomes simple.
The websites that you see mentioned above represent the best the online gambling industry has to offer. I’ve followed these sites for years and recommend them to you with 100% confidence. These are the brands to visit first for the best all-around gambling experience.
Finding a Safe Casino Site in 2015
The safety of your money should always be foremost in your mind when choosing where to play. This probably sounds like common sense advice, but you’d be surprised by how easy it is to be distracted and misled by casino sites and unscrupulous webmasters. People get caught up every day by offers of big bonuses or outright lies spread by those who care about nothing but separating players from their hard-earned cash.
Even with my extensive experience in gambling, I am tempted to this day by big promises. When you’re working your tail off to build a bankroll or finally win some cash, it’s easy to think “well, I’ve never heard of this site, but that $2,000 bonus would help so much. Maybe I should give them the benefit of the doubt just this once…”
This is called a Leap of Faith and it is NOT a smart strategy when dealing with online casino sites. If you think about how little effort it takes to build a legitimate-looking website, it’s scary. I’m not saying this is the case with all unknown operators, but there’s no point in taking the risk. There are too many good, hard-working and reputable brands out there for it to ever be worth taking your money to some unknown upstart.
The single most effective strategy in finding safe casino sites is to always stick with big-name brands. It’s as simple as that. You don’t need to be a detective or some industry insider to figure out which sites are safe and which are not. Check a couple reviews, do a little looking around and eventually you’ll get a picture of which sites are the biggest and most well-known.
Speaking of which, I’d like to direct you to this collection of casino reviews. If you’re looking for more information about a brand you’ve heard of before or are looking for something specific in your next casino site, these reviews will give you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
What It’s Like to Play for Real Money Online
Online casino sites differ from live casinos in several aspects. Both web based operations and land based companies offer their own strengths. One key difference is the simple fact that the internet is convenient and accessible. There’s no need to travel to the nearest casino.
If you don’t live near a brick and mortar establishment, it can be a pain to find a safe place to play in real life. It may even be impossible depending on where you live. With online gambling, the tables are never farther away than the nearest computer or smartphone.
Another advantage of wagering at internet casinos is that they allow you to play and learn at your own pace, at your own stakes. There are no other players to worry about so if you want to learn a new game, you don’t have to make rushed decisions in order to keep the action moving. At the same time, gaming websites offer smaller bets than land based casinos. This allows new players to risk less while learning the basics.
Third, online casino websites almost always offer higher payout rates than brick-and-mortar casinos. Not only is it cheaper to run a virtual casino, but there’s also a whole heck of a lot more competition on the internet. These factors push payout rates to levels you’ll never find in the real world.
Of course, live gaming also has its own advantages. Sometimes it’s fun to get dressed up, drive to the casino and gamble with other people and interact socially. Plus, there’s something special about playing with real chips that you can touch with your hands and interacting with a human dealer.
The funny thing is gambling site operators are well aware of all this. They know that sometimes you just can’t beat playing at a game with a real dealer. You know that old saying “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? Well, a few online casinos seem to know that old adage and are now hosting online games that use live dealers and webcams to bring the real casino experience to the computer. You can read all about it here:
What Goes into Ranking a Casino
Any attempt to rank the best online casinos is going to be subject to some degree of opinion. Different people are bound to have different likes and dislikes. However, there are a few objective factors that we can consider to help narrow down the list of potential gambling sites to a manageable number.
The most important things to consider are brand reputation, withdrawal times, payout rates, deposit options, welcome bonuses and customer support. These are the things that I think we can all agree are important in making a casino a worthwhile place to play real money games. Additionally, your country of residence will play a role in determining where you play. Not all casinos accept customers from all locations. Take a look at these country specific listings for assistance in finding safe gambling sites that accept customers where you live.
Reputation is by far the most important factor of them all. It’s vital to only play at websites with solid reputations because otherwise, you’re gambling with your money by letting some unknown operator hold on to it for a while. Sadly, this is the most difficult factor to verify. How do you know which sites are reputable and which are not?
This is where experience comes into play. In my experience, I’ve dealt with operators of all types and I know what to look at to determine how safe a casino may be. The task is so much easier when you stick with names that have been involved in the business for a long time. Long term brands with positive reputations are always my go-to picks when looking for places to play.
Sometimes I’ll even look at a casino’s affiliate program to see what types of incentives it offers webmasters to promote the brand. When a brand holds its affiliates to high standards, it indicates that the casino site places a premium on telling the truth. This is a positive indicator for players.
Next, you should look at accepted deposit options and terms of bonuses offered by each site. Deposit bonuses are promotions in which players are offered cash bonuses for signing up and funding an account. These incentives are usually offered on a percentage match basis, such as 100% up to $500. An incentive like that one would basically double any deposit you make for up to $500 extra.
Payout rates describe what percentage out of every dollar wagered is returned to the players in the form of cash prizes. The higher the payout rate, the better. For example, a 95% payout rate returns $0.95 to the player out of every $1.00 wagered. This factor is also difficult to measure. Over time, the payout rates become apparent as players report on their experiences and analysts release the results of studies.
Finally, strong customer support is vital because you can rest at ease knowing that if there any problems, they’ll be handled promptly and professionally. This may not sound very important at first, but trust me on this. After you deposit your money, you’ll be glad that you chose to play somewhere with a competent customer support team.
Compare Internet Gaming Software
Most online casino websites give their players an option to either download and install the gaming software or to play it right in your browser. Downloading the software is usually the best bet as it guarantees the best graphics and biggest selection of games. However, the quality of instant play casinos increases every year and some instant play games are just as good as the full download.
Downloading the software makes your account accessible straight from your computer as long as you’re connected to the internet. Players with Mac computers or players who simply don’t want to download anything can use the no-download version to play through their web browsers. The performance isn’t quite as fast as with the download software but the difference isn’t major.
If you have a fast internet connection, you may not even see a difference at all. These days, more players than ever are playing casino games on their smartphones and tablets. Casinos know this and are investing significantly in upgrading their mobile offerings. Take a look at my guide to mobile casino sites for more details on the current state of mobile gambling.
Evaluating Bonuses, Player Rewards, and Promotions
Another important factor that can vary is the terms and play through requirements of signup incentives and promotional offers. All of the bonuses reviewed here include clear explanations of requirements to receive the bonus, which can be used to clear the bonus, and what the cashout and withdrawing requirements are.
Casino bonuses play a large role in the marketing efforts of most gambling sites. Getting someone to sign up and play is the ultimate goal, and casinos will go to great lengths to earn your business. This is great for the players, but there will always be an incentive to make big promises. You’ll avoid a lot of trouble if you understand how bonuses work and put that knowledge to use when choosing where to play.
The first time you run the software or access the web-based no-download version, you’ll be asked to either log in or create an account. Since you don’t yet have an account, choose the “create an account” option. After you do that, you’ll be asked to fill your name and address and to create a username / password.
Just follow the instructions on the screen and you’ll be ready to go in no time. The signup process is nice and fast. Make sure you use your real information when you create your account so casinos know where to send your money when you win. Sign up with incorrect information and you’ll have problems getting paid.
After you have your account created and a funded account, it’s time to make some money. Just run the software any time you want to play and log in to find a list of available games. Options usually include slot machines, table games, specialty games, video poker, bingo and much more.
Choose a category and you’ll be taken to a list of games that fall under that category. For example, if you choose “slots,” you’ll then be taken to a list of every available slot game. All you have to do after that is choose the variation you want to play and you’ll be taken straight to it.
Once inside a game, you’ll then be able to choose how much you wish to wager per round. Online games usually show a list of betting denominations that you can use to pick how much you wish to bet each time. Something that catches newbies off guard is the speed at which online casino games run. Err on the side of caution and start with smaller wagers until you get a feel for how quickly the games move.
Overall, getting started shouldn’t be too much trouble. The hardest part in all this is finding a safe casino in the first place. Once you have a gambling site you can trust, the rest is easy. In the competitive world of online gambling, operators do everything they can to make it easy to get started.
Playing for Real Money Online
Depositing money at casino sites is easy, most places offer a broad selection of dependable banking methods. After you create an account, you can visit the cashier to initiate your first deposit and claim your welcome bonus. I always like to stick with casinos that are competent at processing financial transactions. It instills confidence in an operation’s professionalism when it has the deposit and withdrawal situation under control.
Most internet casinos offer anywhere from 6 to 12 payment options. Each option works a little differently but any option you choose will be accompanied with simple, step-by-step directions for making your payment.
The most common method for depositing at casino websites is the credit card. It’s cheap, simple and fast. E-wallets such as Skrill and Neteller are also popular with players because they act as an intermediary between bank account s and online casinos. In other words, your private banking information is never revealed to the casino. The fewer eyes on your information, the better.
In some countries, people have their credit card deposits blocked due to banking regulations. If that happens to you, you can either try a different credit card or use some other method such as a cash transfer. You can also contact customer support if you have any problems making a deposit.
Most Popular Game Variations
One of the great things about gambling online is the wide selection of games. Even the most average online casino site is likely to have a bigger game selection than any real world casino. With no space limitations or dealers to pay, operators are limited only by their imagination.
Different variations can be categorized as table games, slots, video poker, and specialty games like Keno and Bingo. The biggest gambling sites offer poker, skill games, and sports betting in addition to regular casino games. If you have a specific game in mind, visit our game specific listings for information about all the major variations you’re likely to encounter online.
Play At The Brands Popular In Your Country
Each of the following pages explains the current state of online gambling in different parts of the world. There are country-specific considerations to keep in mind when choosing where to gamble. Not only do you need to find a site that accepts players from your country, but it also helps to go with sites that understand the gambling culture and financial system where you live.